Friday, April 17, 2009

A PFLAG Mom on 'The Day of Silence'

PFLAG mom Lisa Rivero (who was also profiled earlier today at has penned a guest op-ed for 'Florida Today' about the national Day of Silence, taking place in schools across the country today.

Here's an excerpt from Lisa's column. For more information on The Day of Silence, click here.

Sirdeaner Walker went upstairs to look for her son in their Sprinfield, Mass., home. What she found is every mother’s horror. Her beautiful son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, 11, was dead. He had committed suicide by hanging himself with an extension cord.

Carl was a typical 11-year-old. He played football and was an active member of his community.

He was full of promise to contribute positively to this world. What led up to his premature death was the relentless bullying he had been experiencing at school.He was teased daily by accusations of being gay for the way he dressed and was threatened with physical harm by classmates. Sadly, this is the fourth suicide of a middle-school-aged child this year linked to bullying.

Today, Carl would have turned 12. Ironically, it’s the same day that thousands of students across the country are participating in The National Day of Silence. This is the 13th year that students will be remaining silent throughout their school day to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender name calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

Lisa Rivero is president and safe school coordinator for Brevard PFLAG. To read her full column at 'Florida Today,' click here.

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